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About dball

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    David G. Ball
  • Birthday 06/02/1942

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  • Location
    North Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Interests
    Compiler of the "New England Ball Project", attempting to sort out all of the Ball lines that passed through New England 1630-1930.
  1. Jim, Yes, I had seen that, but it was written in 2010 and there are many other sites with a similar complaint thread that show a continued problem up to current time, plus Microsoft has made many changes to both Windows 7 and the Office suite since then. I am pretty reluctant to uninstall Office, since it was pre-installed on my new Dell at the source and, while I have a Product Code, I do not have discs with the software from which to do the reinstall. Other discussion boards talk about using MISCUU2.exe, which used to be a Microsoft fix it tool (and is still available on-line at other sites) to uninstall the Office Single Image 2010 software, but after it was discovered that one could, through misuse of the tool unrelated to this problem, do some real software damage, Microsoft removed it from their site and have replaced it with "Fixit For Office 2010", which I understand from the technical message boards does not fix my Office Single Image 2010 problem. I was hoping that this had occurred in someone else's TMG8 install and had been successfully fixed by some method that could be shared. Thanks for looking around the web for me. I did uninstall Adobe Acrobat Reader and re-downloaded it from the web, but with no change to my problem. Dave Ball
  2. In additon to Terry's comment, there is a further behavior that can be useful when you get a little overzealous in hitting the F3 once too often, meaning you slipped by your intended target, if you then go to another field that also needs to be entered using F3 and do that correctly, you can then go back to the first field that you screwed up and again use F3 to enter the correct value, because the F3 will go back to the top of its repeat list. Further, you can hold "Ctrl" and hit "F3" and see the whole list of the last 15 entries and click on the one you want. This is very useful for sources when you want the one five sources ago and don't want to go click, click, click, too many times on F3 trying to get there quickly <g>.
  3. I am just setting up a new laptop, a Dell XPS with Windows 7, 64-bit, operation system and MS Office Home and Business software package. I downloaded TMG 8.04 when signed in as "Administrator" and it fires up fine for that user. I then switch over to become the "Guest" user to actually do work, but when I fire up TMG it starts to open and then over top I get a new window that comes from my operating system that says "Please wait while Windows configures Microsoft Office Single Image 2010" and this window seems to start doing something and then blinks and starts over. It does this for 5 or 6 times (or until I click "close" a few times) and then TMG finally opens and all is well. This same behavior happens with TMG Utility. No problem opening that program as the "Administrator" user, but this MS Office Single Image garbage happens when I call up TMG Utility as the "Guest" user. I cannot find out anything about this Image program, cannot find it resident in the list of "Add or Delete Software" list or anywhere in my directories as shown in Windows Explorer. On a Microsoft webpage talking about distribution of Office 2010 with new PCs: "The Office 2010 Single Image": One single image that contains all of the elements necessary to preload all three Office 2010 suites onto new PCs for easy end-user activation. The image is part of the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK)." I have already installed my MS Office Home and Business software, but only have fired up and used MS Word and Excel. Do I need to fire up all of the other parts too? I certainly have not found a way to query Microsoft about this on their website. If other TMG users have had this problem, did you find a fix? Dave Ball
  4. Finding non-primary birth, marriage, and death tags is one of some 40 "cleaning" filters in list of people and list of events reports I regularly use when I import from a GEDCOM. Finding the non-primary tags is not a problem, but asking John Cardinal to add the fix to TMGU is spot on and I will do so on the RootsWeb TMG list, thanks. I will admit that I have trouble imagining a circumstance where one person in a marriage tag really should have that tag non-primary, while the other person really should have that tag primary, which is why I question TMG not making both sides of a marriage tag the same with respect to primary/non-primary status. Dave Ball
  5. When I import a GEDCOM from, say, an on-line tree based on descendants of a person, there can be marriage tags in the GEDCOM that only have one person identified. This happens when a descendant's spouse had another marriage; the GEDCOM doesn't capture the other partner in that marriage, only the date and place of that event. It can also happen when there are more generations in the on-line tree than are allowed in the extracted GEDCOM. Descendants in the most recent generation will have marriage tags, but their spouses won't be captured. These are not the problem. I find them easily with a List of Events report and get the required data from the original tree. My TMG problem comes when I complete these marriages by adding a missing person to the project, then noting their ID number and opening the incomplete marriage tag of their spouse and filling in the added person's ID#. This is very efficient, since only that missing ID# is needed. The marriage tag for the originally included person was primary and stays primary after I add in their spouse's ID# and close the tag entry screen, but when I go back to that previously missing spouse, whose marriage tag was just created by my adding their ID# to the existing tag, that added spouse's new marriage tag is NOT primary. Why? Doesn't make sense. Any completely new marriage tag for both parties is automatically primary for both parties, why would adding a missing spouse to a primary tag not do the same for the person being inserted into a primary tag? Is this a bug? No biggie, only I don't always remember to go to the new spouse and reset their tag to primary. I just fixed 142 such tags in a project with 79,000 people; not a huge number, but annoying enough to want to see if I'm doing something wrong. Dave Ball compiler of the New England Ball Project http://www.newenglandballproject.com
  6. Thanks Terry, although I don't much like the answer (not the fault of the messenger ). It means that I can't usefully use that code and will have to use just the carriage return and tab and live with the separate, but normal, paragraph. But that puts me back to having to deal with having the tag following the Civil War tag also have a carriage return and tab (so the Civil War data is completely in its own paragraph with the endnote number in the right place) and I really don't like having to do that because I can't easily keep track of such linkage as I enter more tags later unless I go to the trouble of setting a Civil War flag and accent color and that just seems like swatting a fly with a sledge hammer for a few hundred people in a database of 50,000. Wishlist to WhollyGenes, then: Make the [LIND:] x [:LIND] code respond to the current left margin plus an amount set in preferences. I see that for a descendant journal report (in MS Word) the second and subsequent paragraphs for children with no descendants that the left margin has been moved in, so having the [LIND:] x [:LIND] code respond to the current location of the left margin would do what I want for both people with and without descendants. Cheers, Dave Ball
  7. I created a custom tag for Civil War service to summarize in one paragraph a person's Civil War events. The sentence for the tag is: [P] enlisted <[D]> <[L]>. His Civil War record included: <[:CR:][LIND:][M][:LIND]> If I use the tag for a person that has children, the text from the memo does basically what I want, but lines up at the periods following all of the children's numbers (the digits, not the Roman numerals) about an inch from the left margin. This is a lot further right than I had hoped, but maybe I just need to learn how to set the spacing for the children's numbers to be less indented. What troubles me is that if I use the tag for a person that does not have children, the memo text of the tag prints with exactly the same indent as for the above case (about one inch from the left margin), which is now well to the left of all of the rest of the text for that person. Is there a way to control where the indent lines up and a way to make a sensible indent in both cases, whether or not the person has children? Dave Ball
  8. Ken, TMG already can be and has been shared on either a private server (see Warren Culpepper's article) or by connecting two computers. Remember that a single TMG program can be opened in several "instances" and work on the same project simultaneously (but not the same tag or "record"; although the same tag can be opened as "read-only" by the others). So nothing has to be done to TMG; the single project will always be up to date for all users. I am only asking for the sharing to be made easier. Dave
  9. And that is the heart of what I am trying to avoid. Not everything I do in TMG will pass neatly back and forth through a GEDCOM. And more important, bringing a GEDCOM back into TMG requires time and effort on my part and that defeats the efficiency of the collaboration process that I am proposing. If all I wanted was the GEDCOM data structure, I could use any of the on-line social genealogy services for the collaboration, just as you suggest. In favor of my wishlist proposal, I don't think that the potential size of TMG's collaboration market is a barrier to providing that service, given that WhollyGenes already has on-line servers and, I would hope, all of the technical expertise in-house. If demand is greater than a single test server (or part of a server), then there should be revenues from the service sufficient to cover the cost of another server. Their front end cost is in the development of the server software interface to get each customer to the correct project files, as well as a billing and monitoring system, all of which, I have to believe, is very similar to standard software for internet hosting services. Thanks for responding, though; you are helping to clarify the selling points of a WhollyGenes collaboration service. Dave Ball
  10. Warren Culpepper some time ago wrote up how to do the webserver option with TMG (but did not cover TMG licensing issues; see: http://www.tmgtips.com/tmg5_network.htm) and I suspect that the third party hosting service is also technically possible with TMG, but would doubtless be outside of the licensing agreement of one user per one TMG. But more to the point, you are clearly demonstrating that there is a market for cooperative genealogy research, because you are doing it. BUT NOT WITH TMG! My position with a huge one-name study is that I really, REALLY, want to use TMG as my software platform and to use Second Site as my website software. I understand the concept of the technical solutions, I just do not want to have to deal with them, nor do I want to have to explain them to someone that I otherwise trust to work with me on my one-name study. I want WhollyGenes to make collaboration technologically non-threatening. I am seriously hoping that there is a positive business case for them to provide that service. I am sensing that the wider genealogy market has already decided that collaborative genealogy is a market niche whose time has come and your response is just what I want WhollyGenes to be keenly aware of.......other software solutions are already getting a foothold on the collaboration market.
  11. Grass Roots Multi-user Genealogy Networks: On Jan 27 Dick Eastman posted a blog item about release of "The Next Generation" version 6.2.0 (see: http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genea...ne-1.html#more). This is further evidence in the change in the paradigm for genealogy software as one person working on one computer using a genealogy program. Traditionally all collaboration is done through other modes of communication apart from the software or shared in lumps with a GEDCOM. TMG is different in that joint sharing is technically possible. However, the few instances that I have found of TMG being used by two people at once either require that both computers be fully networked (and therefore exposed beyond just TMG project files) or that very challenging hardware and software interfaces with servers and virtual network software and security software was needed that challenges the understanding of all but the elite techies. But the social genealogy networks have bypassed both of those problems and made the concept of multi-user data entry seamless and available to the masses. In addition to "The Next Generation" noted by Dick Eastman, there is an explosion of use of on-line social genealogy networks including Geni.com, WebBiographies.com, Ancestry.com, and MyHeritage.com (the old Gencircles). All of these sites replace genealogy software and look pretty much the same. The “owner” can enter data direct or upload a GEDCOM and have an instant family history website with photos and stories and trees. BUT, the real change is that the owner can authorize other people to add material directly to their site. Each of the providers named here claims clients in the millions, but there is no indication as to how many take advantage of authorizing other people to share on their sites. I do know that people that I helped with their Ball lines have with good intentions voluntarily added me to their list of approved contributors and that suggests that the concept is perhaps an active one. On-line Networks, Virtual or Otherwise: Let’s be clear. I don’t want to share any part of my computer with anyone. I don’t trust anyone enough to let them roam around my machine and not screw something important up. As well, I don’t want to have to be on-line all of the time for others to reach my files. But I would be willing to share access to my one-name TMG project files with a few select researchers through an internet hosting service IF AND ONLY IF 1. The TMG files were easily accessed on-line 2. I always (OK, nearly always) had access 3. I alone would be the one to grant or withdraw permission for each other person to share (it has to be secure so I can sleep at night) 4. I could regularly get TMG project back-ups (several times a day) in case something unfortunate happened, and 5. I didn’t have to have a Geek Squad consultant for an hour each time I wanted to add someone to the party. Right now computer linking technology is a major barrier to the implementation of a TMG-based on-line project network. Most of us are “users” and just want to press the power button, have the computer wake up, click on the TMG icon and start having fun. I am willing to add a few steps to that sequence to get to a website and start up an instance of TMG and start having fun. But watching all of the messages posted on TMG-L for the week following the release of TMG 7, it is clear that a lot of us family genealogists have trouble following even simple computer-related directions and getting our heads around something new and technical. My point is that I don’t want to have to navigate all of the techie steps needed to set up an on-line network (even if WhollyGenes and I could agree on some sort of licensing arrangement). I want WhollyGenes to solve all those problems, package the solutions in a companion software bundle as or if required, and get me up and running quickly. Wishlist Role for WhollyGenes: The ultimate service would, of course, be for WhollyGenes to provide the servers that host the multi-user system and to charge a reasonable rate based on the maximum number of simultaneous users I might contract for (actually, I am hoping that the mysterious WhollyGenes “Family Data Exchange” is just this sort of service ). Licensing would be easier, because the set-up and fees would be tied to the maximum number of parties per contract and WhollyGenes can set up their server to only permit that maximum usage. Whatever connection and administrative software was needed on my computer or on the computers of my research partners would be provided by WhollyGenes as part of the front-end set-up cost to me. Wishlist Summary: I see a growing market niche for cooperative genealogy research over the internet among TMG users including major projects (e.g., book genealogies and one-name studies), families with members in different locations, and even professionals collaborating on projects from different venues. Right now there are significant technical barriers to the average person setting up a functioning network hosted by an internet hosting service provider. TMG is already well suited for multi-user operation (and the new reminders capability in TMG 7.0 now makes setting up data entry standards a piece of cake ). I am hoping that there is a business opportunity here for WhollyGenes to facilitate internet-based joint TMG use. Even if the answer comes back “NO”, it would be really helpful for us that do need to set up such a shared access to get a techno-idiot-friendly set of instructions on how we might arrange shared access through an internet service provider and what we have to do to meet WhollyGenes’ licensing requirements in the process. WhollyGenes continues to provide leading edge vision to the features in TMG; it is my humble opinion that co-operative genealogy projects as offered by the social genealogy websites will grow quickly, perhaps impacting the sales of “point and shoot” genealogy software more than TMG, but the concept of co-operative genealogy is a natural for a wide spectrum of TMG users. Would this be useful to other TMG users as it would be to me? David G. Ball Compiler of The New England Ball Project ballproject@shaw.ca
  12. Pierce, I already have a 40+ page document called "Design Criteria" that outlines all of the data entry formats, tag customization, source templates, instructions for report generation setup, etc., etc. I had to do this to keep me from re-inventing the wheel every few months for uncommon events. As with TMG in general, a new user will have to struggle through the maze to get things consistent with my standards, but data entry tends to be highly repetitive, so shouldn't be a big hurdle. Damage control is a serious issue. Daily back-ups (and maybe more frequent, if indicated by experience) of the Project files will mean that we can always step back a day at a time to undo any disaster, using a list of events report based on date last changed to identify good data that would otherwise be lost, if possible. I don't think that there is any real need to partition users in the Project, because often I find that I get on a data entry binge (e.g., the 1850 census) that crosses all of the major trees, so would not be effective if limited to only some of the people in the Project. I have creatively screwed over the Project file a couple of times during GEDCOM merges and just sighed heavily and retrieved the last backup and moved on. Cheers, Dave An interesting thought. I suspect that some whiz kid could set up my computer to have enough security to keep access by my remote "Project Helpers" limited to TMG and the Project, but that still doesn't get around the problem that I only have a laptop, I travel, and I take the laptop with me, so my schedule would limit helpers. I would prefer to not buy a separate desktop server (even given how prices have come down), because I don't know how to maintain it, should any problems with outside access occur. That is why I prefer a solution that has someone else whose business it is to provide the hardware, security interface, and responsibility of keeping the system up 24/7. Thanks for the creative thoughts, though, Dave
  13. Aric, I went to Wikipedia and read through the info on Hamachi and then a bit about "virtual private networks" (VPN). My eyes glaze over at some of the technical jargon, but if I get the picture it is a software package that operates between my computer and, say, several other computers at different towns to make a connection that is secure. Only one computer is the host and has all of the TMG and project files. For others to access TMG, the computer with TMG must be on-line all the time. This is similar to how Warren Culpepper set up a WAN configuration. His TMG performance was very poor, but that was because internet transfer speeds were much lower than the 54 mbs of most of today's wireless connections and 100 mbs for high speed cable connections. The real barrier was that the VPN gives all members full access to the host computer, not just to TMG and that is more trust than I care to give to other genealogy contributors, unless I dedicate a computer to only being the TMG host, which is a significant cost. This would have to be the case for me, since I travel with my laptop and would not want to cut off other project workers during that time. The rationale for finding a way to put both TMG and the project files on a public service provider machine seems to me to be more cost effective than buying another computer to be the center of a VPN, as well as having a more effective limitation of access to just TMG and the project files. David G. Ball North Vancouver, BC, Canada ballproject@shaw.ca
  14. Retsof, thanks for the pointers on the web hosting and Terry for confirming that multiple users are feasible. I think the points about not doing backups and VFI and Optimize while multiple users are connected could be important. By myself I have managed to lock-up TMG or have TMG shut down suddenly, so I would have to have protocols for maintenance and recovery in a multiple user environment. It is a bit surprising to me that another "one-name" study hasn't been running TMG on a public service provider hosting server. The article written by Warren Culpeppers was over 3 years ago and, when I chatted with him then, I expected that his article would encourage others to set up a central project with multiple people working directly on the central project. I was just starting my Project then and now have some 42,000 people entered and several other researchers wanting to know what they can do to help in an ongoing and meaningful way. It would be a lot more fun for them to be able to work on their particular branch of the Ball clans and see that part grow, than to just gather data for me to enter when I get around to their line (and more fun for me as well ). WhollyGenes will have to answer the multiple user licensing issue and I guess the rest will depend upon whether I can find a "Geek Squad" type of local site developer to lead me through the issues of site structure and access security and all of the technical issues of setting TMG up in this manner with a public output website and a secure (invitation only) TMG workplace. Happy New Year, Dave Ball ballproject@shaw.ca
  15. I am in my fourth year of a "one-name" study limited to the Ball surname families with origins in New England. I am to the point that it would be useful to have a TMG setup that would let two or more people simultaneously (in theory) access and add data to the main TMG Project file. We are talking people in different locations (actually in different countries ), so computer connection would have to be through the internet. I have a copy of Warren Culpepper's case history of his sharing scheme for his one-name study, but he used a computer server in his own company over which he had full control and only two people had access to the TMG Project file. My situation is a little more complicated and I do not have access to a private server, so would need to use some sort of public service provider. I have lots of questions (let's say I am at the very start of a steep learning curve ), but here are a few starters: 1. As I understand, to do this both TMG and the Project files would have to be on the service provider server. Does WhollyGenes have a special licensing requirement for this structure? While I am likely only to make this system available to a small number (I would think now less than 10) of other researchers (to each work on their favorite Ball clan), it seems to me that I would likely push my TMG licensing more than a little having several others using my copy of TMG. 2. About the same time as setting up a shared data entry arrangement, I plan to launch a website (using Second Site, of course ). It would make sense to me to have both the website and the TMG and Project files hosted by the same service provider. I have a domain name (which is available) in mind for the website. Does it make sense technically to have both the website and the TMG Project files accessed through through the same domain name through different subdirectories? Or should I have a second domain name for some reason for the TMG and Project files? 3. At this point I know next to nothing about domains and servers and website development, but do understand the difference between having a public website that can be found and accessed by anyone and what I need for security to limit access to the server-based TMG and the Project files. Is sign-in security something that I need to get from my service provider or is this another piece of software that I need to acquire? Clearly I will need local "Geek Squad" assistance when I implement this wild scheme, but I want to have a basic understanding of how all of this will work. This will be enough for now, but I would be pleased to hear from anyone else that is doing this sort of thing that can lead me up the learning curve. Best of the Season, David G. Ball ballproject@shaw.ca